A guide to using Telegram messenger securely and privately (for privacy, porn, or anything else)
What with global political upheaval, government regulation, and (very good and legitimate) suspicion of the corporations who hold our data, it’s likely you’ve at least heard about Telegram. Since it is my preferred method of communication (for work and pleasure), it’s useful to explain exactly how you can start using Telegram. We’ll also talk about why Telegram is better than WhatsApp, and why Telegram is MUCH better than texting.
- What is Telegram Messenger?
- How to set up Telegram on iOS and Android
- Frequently asked questions about Telegram
- Subscribe to my Private Telegram Channel
- If you need more help
What is Telegram messenger?
Telegram is free and easy to use chat, video, and voice app. Its Secret Chat function offers true end-to-end encryption as well as the ability to fully delete messages or images from either end (you can delete mine, and I can delete yours. Permanently). Everything in Secret Chat moves directly from device to device and is not stored on intermediary servers the way texting is.
You can control whether Telegram connects to your existing contacts and whether your phone number is visible to others. You can even use a disposable or VOIP phone number (like Google Voice) to register for Telegram, keeping your personal phone number protected.
How to Set Up Telegram on iOS or Android
Telegram is available to use on desktop, within a compatible browser, or as an iOS and Android app. I strongly suggest starting with Telegram on your personal phone if we are going to communicate. Secret Chats are tied to the device where they begin, and your phone is likely the more private place to begin one than your desktop or laptop computer.
I recommend keeping this guide open on your computer, however while you work on your phone.
Time needed: 5 minutes.
How to download and install Telegram messenger on your device
- Download Telegram to your device
Only download Telegram directly from the App Store, and not from anywhere else on the Internet. Because it is an intensely popular app, searching will easily deliver the right result.
If you’re viewing this on your phone already, here are the links to the Apple and Android/Google Play app stores:
Apple App Store
Google Play Store
- Open the app and confirm your device
Open the newly downloaded Telegram app on your device and follow the on-screen instructions to create your account.
Telegram will ask you for a phone number to send a quick confirmation code. Enter this code to complete your account setup.
BONUS (not required): Consider setting up an alternative number with which to register Telegram:
For an added layer of privacy, I suggest you not use your real phone number with Telegram. If you are in America, Google offers free VOIP service to all users of Gmail. All you have to do is set it up. Find out how by going to voice.google.com
Use your Google Voice number to set up your Telegram account. It might sound like a lot of steps, but you’ll only need to do this once.
- Set up your Telegram account
Once your number (or VOIP number) is confirmed, you will be asked for a first and last name. You are not required to use your legal name, and I suggest using something nondescript that you don’t also use elsewhere. Using only a first name is just fine too.
If Telegram requests to connect to your phone’s contacts list, I recommend you tell it “no,” and keep telling it “no,” every single time it asks. The Telegram app does not ever need to be friends with your contacts list, social media accounts, or location information to work correctly.
- Establish a Telegram @username
Usernames function just as on Twitter and Facebook, and allow users to find one another without using real phone numbers or real names. Again, I suggest using a unique identifier here (rather than the same username you have on Reddit or Twitter) that won’t come up if somebody searches for it later.
- Find me!
Now that your Telegram account is up and running, and you have established a username, use the Telegram search box to look up @tylerthebadwolf, and navigate to my listing.
This way you won’t need to store my name or number as a contact in your phone for anyone to discover later. If we are disconnected for any reason, or you lose your device, you can always find me again quickly via my @.
Please note: I will NEVER ask you to provide payment or credit card information via Telegram message, nor will I suggest you subscribe to any pay site in order to engage with me.
Anything that strikes you as odd or suspicious should be reported to me immediately. Scammers use my name and images to create fake accounts on social media sites and direct victims to dangerous pages requiring payment details.
I will never ask you for credit card or payment details.
- Optional: Start a Secret Chat
Secret Chats in Telegram are distinct from regular Telegram messages. They will always have a little padlock icon 🔒 to let you know your messages are going directly from your device to mine, and are encrypted all the way.
Please ONLY use Secret Chat to message me.
Note: Telegram updates their apps often, and the Secret Chat function has been moved once or twice. If you are unable to find it, send me a regular chat and I will respond with an invitation to an encrypted chat instead. Otherwise:
Open the profile of the user you want to contact. Tap on ‘…’, then ‘Start Secret Chat’.
Remember that Telegram secret chats are device-specific. If you start a secret chat with a friend on one of your devices, this chat will only be available on that device. If you log out, you will lose all your secret chats. You can create as many different secret chats with the same contact as you like.
- Optional: Delete a Secret Chat
In the Chats listing, swiping a specific chat to the left allows you to permanently delete it for you or for both of us. You can also use the Edit button to select multiple chats to delete at once.
If we have a running conversation going, please don’t be disheartened if Telegram suggests I closed and deleted the chat. When I travel, my devices are erased, and erasing removes all traces of our conversation. Simply press “Delete and Exit” and open a new Secret Chat whenever you want.
Pro tip: Long-press in any Telegram chat bubble allows you delete a message, photo, or video, from either or both of our devices in real time.
Frequently asked questions about Telegram messenger
It’s not always easy to trust something new, especially if one has long relied on WhatsApp or simply regular texting to communicate. But Telegram is a reliable and safe structure for us, and your worries or questions might be more common than you think.
Subscribe to my Private Telegram Channel
I maintain a private channel on Telegram for friends and acquaintances who might want a bit more than what I offer on Twitter and Instagram. There are of course, lots of Telegram porn channels, gay Telegram channels, and beyond.
This isn’t that, but my penis will be around more often than it’s not.
Joining my channel is easy, I just require a couple quick steps to verify users so that I know only the best folks are around, and I don’t have to worry about troublemakers, bots or LE snooping around. Show me you’re real:
- Set up your Telegram account as I suggest above.
- Open a Secret Chat with me, @tylerthebadwolf
My private channel is a way to for me to encourage you to try out the platform and a place to share uncensored versions of my Instagram photos and other private stuff that isn’t right for just anybody on social media.
I manually approve each new member so a quick vetting is required. Tell me you’d like to join my private channel in your message and then:
- Share another social account
Because I want to keep trolls, bots, and LE out of my life as much as possible, I ask that you send me another account that I can “verify.” If we communicate regularly, your email address is also fine.
A Twitter or Instagram handle with a public account will do nicely. I’ll take a quick peek—I won’t follow or like anything you post—and will let you know whether you can be added to the channel.
If your accounts are private, it is likely I might ignore the request.
- Be patient
I add folks to the channel when I have time to. I will do my best to get to you ASAP, but it might take a couple days. It makes my job simpler if you have already established a Telegram username for yourself in Settings. I can quickly add @usernames to the channel once we’re gold.
- Trust me
I have a strict personal no-logging policy with any and all information that I request from you. That means, if you share a username or LinkedIn profile with me, it will be examined in an Incognito browser via a private VPN, and then discarded entirely. There are no notes or profiles crafted connecting your use of my site or our communications.
I work as hard to keep your secrets secret as I do my own.
If you need more help
If you get stuck anywhere along the line, let me know via the communication channel with which you are most comfortable, and I will do my best to help.
Ready to make a plan?